Pod People

Day 93: Johnshaven to Aberdeen (ferry to Lerwick), July 21st

A day with a deadline; we had to be at the Aberdeen ferry by 6:30. It wasn’t a particularly long ride, but we knew there were a lot of hills to conquer.

Getting out of Johnshaven involved riding along a rather rocky seaside track. We crisscrossed over the A92, and rode on it briefly, then climbed a long way up for a spectacular view over Stonehaven. The ride down into the port town was nice, but the ride up and out was not. Construction of a new highway has added a lot of traffic and confusion to the roads up the coast. Climbing a busy, steep and long hill is not a lot of fun.


We stopped to rest and eat by a cenotaph and who should come riding up the hill but our new friend, John. We formed up our little convoy again and he helped us negotiate some of the construction mess.

At one point we met a young Dutch guy who was on a huge tour. He’d already been to Iran and Mauritius (which I had to look up).

When we were only a few miles from Aberdeen, Cycle Route 1 seemed to get bogged in construction again, following a gravel road which appeared to be closed. John elected to ride the A90, warning us that Aberdeen drivers were crazy, but saying he’d ridden it safely many times when working in the area. We followed him up the on-ramp. But it was an on-ramp. The closer we got, the more the A90 looked like the Don Valley Parkway. We bailed. John disappeared into the throng of traffic and we rolled the wrong way back down the ramp. Google Maps helped us find a slower, safer route into the city.

Riding into Aberdeen felt a lot like riding in Toronto. There were a few half-assed cycle paths, but mostly it was riding on busy roads. Too many potholes, too many cars and people. We were happy to finally reach the port.

We were early, so we had time to go into the giant mall across from the port and get me a new, unlocked, phone. We walked into the city a bit, took some pictures and picked up supplies. At a bank, Deb also managed to trade in a £5 note that had been taken out of circulation.

Boarding the ferry was straightforward, and we discovered that the “Sleeping Pods” that we’d booked were really just glorified reclining chairs. Still, they had USB plugs and were in a room with no blaring TV. We also received blankets, eye masks, and tokens for the showers, which were actually really good.

Distance: 60 km

$223 plus a new phone

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